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COVID-19 stalls Tsholotsho Campfire projects

by Staff reporter
01 Jul 2021 at 14:58hrs | Views
TSHOLOTSHO Rural District Council acting chief executive Nkululeko Sibanda yesterday said the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) programme in the district has been severely affected by COVID-19-induced pressures.

Sibanda said the COVID-19 disruptions had stalled the projects which were being funded by, Campfire for the past two years. Campfire projects are also the major revenue streams for the Tsholotsho Rural District Council.

Campfire is a communitybased wildlife conservation approach to wildlife as a renewable, profitable resource, and it serves as a model for some other indigenous conservation projects in Africa.

Sibanda said the ban on travelling had put on hold most of their community projects such as the building of schools.

"Tsholotsho is rich in terms of wildlife and timber harvesting. Maybe because of our proximity to Hwange National Park, travelling restrictions on tourists have affected us on our revenue collections from Campfire projects. Sixty percent of Campfire proceeds are for community projects such as the building of schools and clinics, boreholes, and other projects, and four percent (4%) is for Campfire associations, while 36% goes towards administration expenses," Sibanda said.

He said even if prices for hunting and photographic safari fees were lowered, it was still difficult to lure local clients to partake in Campfire activities.

Sibanda said to increase revenue streams, they had now entered a contract with another safari operator, and the programme would start in July so that they look for clients.

One of the Campfire Association representatives, Charles Jonga, said this year, they might clinch a few hunting contracts.

He said Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, which is a conservation proposal for countries such as Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, had also come on board in assisting Campfire projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source - newsday

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